Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Creative Process: Hogwarts House Quilt

Y'all, I am a huge fan of half square triangle quilts. I pin every type of pattern I can find on Pinterest and then, when I need to make a new quilt I scroll back through to find something new. Maybe it's really boring to use the same technique over and over again, but Im obsessed with the patterns that can be made from half square triangles.  I'm thinking about doing something fun with flying geese and other traditional blocks pretty soon, but in the meantime I'm gonna ride out this HST kick! I found this sample on Pinterest a few weeks back from Quilternity's Place. When I decided to make a Harry Potter inspired quilt for a pregnant friend, I went scrolling back through my boards and new it was perfect! I tweaked a few things, obviously, but this might be one of my favorite yet!

I am also currently trying to burn through my fabric stash and trying to not buy any fabric for any sewing projects. I bought a round of fabric in the beginning of May and only picked up more recently for an upcoming project because I really wanted something with polar bears for a friend. The Restraint!!!! So for this HP quilt, it took a lot of arranging and rearranging, but I had all the fabric I needed for all the house colors without having to purchase any! The hardest part was Ravenclaw only because I could've sworn Ravenclaw colors were blue and silver, but It was blue and bronze! Finding fabric that looks "bronze" is not easy, but fortunately I had a decent amount of tans and gold that I feel like it really came together.

I know there are easier ways to do quilt layouts without taking up the entire floor, but when doing things that are "intentionally random" I have to lay it out and rearrange it over and over and over and over again.  In each picture, you can see subtle changes as I move a triangle hear and there before snapping a new photo. It's only annoying for a few hours, but I had to surrender basically the entire floor of my living and dining room.

The shrinking never fails to amazing me! I love watching quilts get smaller and smaller as you piece them together! It used to annoy me because I wasn't good at planning my seam allowances and my quilts were turning out smaller than I anticipated. Now I love watching it happen!

I am surprised how fast the quilting went on this one. I thought it was going to take all day, but I finished it just a few hours with coffee breaks. I used rainbow quilting thread, but the lighting in my apartment is not great to see it. The background looks really neat with rainbow stitching showing up in person really well against the dark blue background.

The finished product! I am so so so happy with this quilt! Picking the binding color was tough as I was worried it would clash or blend too much with one of the house sections, but I think the white looks good. The person I made this for identifies with house Ravenclaw so I threw in some extras for her babe including a raven beanie and magic quote shirt. This might be the last quilt I make for a little while so I can have some time to get some other projects going, but I feel like this was a solid note to rest on!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Creative Process: Fox Quilt

Last year I purchased the Elizabeth Hartman fox pattern to make stockings for the Stocking Stuffer Swap with Bee Creative Swaps and was able to use it again this year to make a full quilt! One of my friends recently had a baby and did a woodland creatures theme for the shower and nursery. I'm super pumped with how this once came out! I think it might be my first time making a full quilt with without simple squares or half square triangles!

For the fox face I used a bunch of miscellaneous plaids and flannels I had in my stash. I though the dark green background would work well for a forest-y look. Plus! I already had it and didn't need to buy anything for the top of this quilt! Always a plus. Some of the fox faces pop out better than others against the dark green, but I like the variety.

I also did something I've never tried before with the binding which was combine a bunch of scrap together. It look a while to cute and figure out which pieces were long enough to be worth using, but I love the look of it! I even mixed in a few pieces not cut on a bias and it honestly came out perfectly fine.

The backing was the only thing I purchased specifically for this quilt. I saw it at a quilt shop in Portland and knew it would be perfect for when I finally got around for making this quilt! I love the way in came out, but I'm looking forward to digging back in to some more half square triangle patterns!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Out & About: SF Etsy Team Marketplace

After my last post about new beginnings, I thought taking some time to get reinspired and reconnect with the handmade community would be a great first step.  The local Etsy team in San Francisco was doing a few weekends of pop up markets so I decided to check it out and see what the SF craft scene was all about.

I found most things felt somewhat similar to marketplaces I'd been to before which was honestly super encouraging for me. I was worried the handmade craft world would feel like it's taken off and gone way beyond me at this point. I don't know if I was worried about my skill level, my trend awareness or what. The whole time I thought "yeah, I could totally make things that would be appropriate to sell here!" and it was a huge relief!

My favorite vendor by far was Bottle of Clouds! I think I loved her stuff because it was very similar to the jewelry I used to make for The Morose Bee as far as aesthetic goes. Cute, silly, random, and awesome earrings and broaches!

My spoils! I ended up picking up mostly gifts for other people, but the beet earrings from Bottle of Clouds are for me. I had a great time and felt like everything was cute and very reasonably priced. I'm hoping to get my act together and join the SF Etsy Team! I just want to refine my shop a bit more before I put myself out there. I feel like things for The Morose Bee in San Francisco are looking up!

Future Craft Shows/Marketplaces to explore:

Patchwork Show- November 4th
Jack London Square, Oakland, CA

Renegade Craft Faire- November 11 & 12
Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

To Endings and What Comes Next

Yesterday I received my termination receipt from the state of Texas for Made With Moxie. I was both sad and relieved to finally be completely finished with that short lived company. I could have put a lot of effort into it and really tried to hustle in San Francisco to make that little mobile art company happen, but I felt totally fried. I spent a lot of time owning and managing small businesses, sacrificing my personal life, spinning my wheels financially, and being in a continuous state of being overwhelmed. I knew owning a creative business was never going to make me a millionaire, but I loved my work. At some point, the hustle starts to eat you up from the inside. I couldn't help but wonder if I was doing Made With Moxie because I felt like I needed to. Working at pottery studios was most of my adult life. Maybe I was just caught in the flow? Mindlessly ordering pottery and making flyers with paint splatter stock photos because it's all I'd been doing for the last 8 years? I started to lose momentum, but eventually other things in my life started to fill up the space. I wanted to sew all of the time and not just paint. I was working at a preschool and really enjoying interacting with kids on more areas than just art. I did a ton of roller derby officiating and travel. I wasn't really focusing on my business 100%. And when the abrupt time came to move to San Francisco, it just felt right to pull the plug. It was all rather unceremonious. I made a post on Facebook to my friends, but just sort of went about deleting all my website and social media accounts without any real mention of what I was doing on a professional level. Now that my Certificate of Termination has arrived, it feels necessary and cathartic to write this.

Ironically, this weekend is the big Contemporary Ceramic Studio Association Convention. The one I went to for my business. The one I've taught classes at. And friends I made through that industry are posting about their travels and packing on social media. It feels strange not only to not be going, but to not even have realized it was coming up. What's even stranger is I don't really care.

So now I'm back at the beginning. Just me and The Morose Bee.

I'm not sure where to go next. I have a lot of jewelry and I'm working on adding new sewing projects into the mix. Although I've been making so many dang quilts, I'm not sure if I'll ever get to them. No longer being tethered to the ceramics industry means I can do whatever I want and that feels wonderful and terrifying. I know I want to keep making and maybe even do a few craft shows again, but I feel like I need to find my voice as a maker again. What is it that I want to put into the world? The San Francisco Etsy team has a market this weekend and that feels like step one. Take a little time to browse beautiful things made by other people and reassess. It's been so longer since I've been to a handmade marketplace, I don't even what's "cool" anymore! Are people still into owls? Is everyone still making soy candles? What's going on, crafters?!

So that's where I'm at. There's no amazing revelations or conclusions here yet, but I feel hopeful.

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Creative Process: Bumblebee Quilt

Hey look something non-Frida related! I made a quilt for a friend a few weeks ago who was doing a whole bumblebee theme for her shower and nursery. It was a fun quilt to make and nice break to make during all the Frida-suff. She had her baby a few days ago and it's all so exciting!!

I decided to start using scraps of quilt batting and sew them together to make the batting for smaller quilts. It worked really well and I ended up doing it again for another quilt I've made.

I've never really done a design for the actual quilting part so I tried to sort of wing it for the idea I had. I kept the piecing simple because I knew I wanted to do something for intricate for the quilting. I have no knowledge of how "professional" quilting is done, but this worked really well. It just took FOREVER.

I didn't take any good pictures for scale, but the quilt came out slightly larger than a "baby" size quilt, but not quite big enough to be considered a "crib" size quilt. I think it will be a perfect size quilt for floor play. The little nugget was born just a few days ago so I hope they find it useful. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Kids Art Hexie Pillows

I've been involved in dozens of class projects for school auctions over the last few years. This year I had to make an auction item for the classroom I actually teach in and I think I made my favorite item yet! Hexie pillows featuring the kids artwork! It certainly was not an original idea as I've seen a few things like this on Instagram, but I'm so so happy with how my variation came out!

First I let various kids in the class decorate premade hexies with a permanent fabric pen. The kids in my classroom range from ages 3-6 so I tried to let as many as possible make a hexie or two. Sometimes I would turn my head for a minute and one kid would have suddenly decorated a dozen of them, but I managed incorporate about half the class on the finished product. Some of them are obvious objects or words from the older children and some are just scribbles from the youngest children. The scribbly ones are kinda my favorite!

I love them so much it was hard to drop them off at school! I have several leftover hexies so I might be able to make something else to incorporate the extras and have a personal item to remember these special little people.

The green one below might be my ultimate favorite! I love the little hair! And those uneven legs! Kids artwork is just the absolute best.

This was easily one of the most fun things I have ever made and I hope to have the opportunity to do something like this again in the future. I'm definitely adding it to my repertoire of auction projects available through Made With Moxie!